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Paving the way for women: Breaking the glass ceiling

Participants in the learning programme “Empowerment of Women in Management”, Tanzania, Novem 2022.  Photo: Vibeke Quaade.

Around the world, a vast pool of highly skilled and experienced women remains untapped. For this reason, Danida Fellowship Centre, Tana Copenhagen, and MS TCDC put together the learning programme Empowerment of Women in Management.

By Helle Jørgensen, Capacity Advisor, Danida Fellowship Centre

In November 2022, 20 women from six African nations gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, to participate in the Empowerment of Women in Management programme organised by Danida Fellowship Centre and Tana Copenhagen. The two-week custom-designed learning programme was aimed at women in mid- to senior-level management positions in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society organisations.

The background for the development of this programme was rooted in the gender inequalities found in many organizations, particularly at the managerial level. Despite the constant struggle for efficiency and productivity faced by organisations around the world, the vast pool of highly skilled and experienced women remains virtually untapped. The reasons for these inequalities are numerous, but the result is that qualified women are often left feeling frustrated and disheartened, and organisations are left with a significant and untapped potential for growth.

The aim of the “Empowerment of Women in Management” programme was therefore to improve the participants’ understanding of the barriers to gender equality in the workforce and the impact of gender on leadership and management. Additionally, the programme aimed at building confidence in the participants’ abilities with regard to their roles as managers and leaders, and supporting their personal career development.

The programme content was based on modern management theories and practices with a strong focus on the personal qualifications and abilities of the participants. The participants explored challenges facing women in competitive working environments, such as negative attitudes and behaviour, and learned how to overcome these barriers and advocate for themselves and other women.

The learning programme was followed by a professional mentorship opportunity with two senior mentors for five participants. These mentorships run from January to June 2023 and include online sessions and visits to the mentees and their organisations. This is the first time that a mentorship model of this kind is being tried out as part of a Danida Fellowship Centre learning programme.

The next Empowerment of Women in Management learning programme takes place in April-May 2023. Read more about it here. The application deadline has passed.

Watch the day-2-day videos where the participants talk about their takeaways from the “Empowerment of Women in Management” from 24 October to 4 November 2022.

Ms Matilda Ntokozo Sigwebela, South Africa
“Gender sensitivity, equality, equity and gender parity are not the same”

Ms Roseline Omohu Ajayi, Nigeria
“We are encouraged to identify problems, and find solutions”

#Day 3
Ms Langelika Kalebi Soka, Tanzania
“I will play my part in empowering women at work”

Ms Sethina Ayongo Okorno, Ghana
“To secure equal opportunities, policy implementation is key”

Ms Rehab Ahmed Fouad Osman Elsaady, Egypt
“What it takes to become great women leaders”

Asia Peter Mdemu, Tanzania
“A free and safe space for women”

Eva Edwards, Nigeria
“What makes me a better manager and leader”

Ms Edith Boachie, Ghana
“How successful women manage their time to upscale their career”

#Day1 Week 2
Ms Masefako Delina Segooa, South Africa
“Using our qualities as women to empower the people around us”

#Day1 Week 2
Ms Jennifer Buabeng, Ghana
“We are all full of potential”

#Day2 Week 2
Ms Leah Ayoub Mwakangata, Tanzania
“How we shall brand ourselves to impact our communities”

#Day2 Week 2
Ms Joan Atamba Makatiani, Kenya
“Identify your unique values”

#Day3 Week 2
Ms Priscilla Obeng-Gyabaa, Ghana
“Wear your gender lens”

#Day4 week 2
Jane Aku Geraldo, Ghana
“The important role of male allies to build together gender parity”

#Day5 week 2:
Jeanne Koumba Tolno, Central African Republic
“Increasing gender balance? I will start from my organization!

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